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Hampshire [College] Divests from Israel
FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | February 17, 2009 | Alan M. Dershowitz

Posted on 02/17/2009 5:29:19 AM PST by SJackson

Hampshire Divests from Israel  
By Alan M. Dershowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Several months ago, a rabidly anti Israel group on the Hampshire College campus began a campaign to try to get the college to divest from six companies that they claim helped “the Israeli occupation of Palestine.” Those who came up with this formulation regard all of Israel, including Tel Aviv, Haifa and Ben Gurion Airport, as “occupied Palestine.” In other words, their goal is to end the existence of Israel. This divestment effort is part of an international campaign against Israel. Until now, every American university administration has categorically rejected this attempt to single out Israel in a world filled with massive human rights abusers. But Hampshire caved in to student and faculty pressure and as Board of Directors agreed to divest from these six companies along with a series of others that did not meet the standards of Hampshire College. The student group, supported by many faculty members, claimed total victory, issuing a press release that boasted that Hampshire has become the first college in the United States to divest from Israel. It urged other universities to follow its lead.

Those supporting the petition include the notorious anti-Semite Cynthia McKinney, America and Israel basher Noam Chomsky and other Israel haters. The six companies include General Electric, ITT, Motorola and other corporations that employ thousands of American workers. The divestment campaign applies to Israel and Israel alone. Hampshire will continue to deal with companies that supply Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Belarus and other brutal dictatorships around the world that routinely murder civilians, torture and imprison dissenters, deny educational opportunities to women, imprison gays and repress speech. Indeed many of those who support divestiture against Israel actively support these repressive regimes. This divestment campaign has absolutely nothing to do with human rights. It is motivated purely by hatred for the Jewish state. As New York Times columnist Tom Friedman put it: “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vial. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanctions—out of proportion to any other party in the Middle East—is anti-Semitic and not saying so is dishonest.”

The petition itself mentions nothing about terrorism directed against Israeli civilians, rocket attacks aimed at its kindergartens, and the unwillingness of Hamas even to

recognize Israel’s right to exist. It seeks to express “solidarity with Palestinian students whose access to education is severely inhibited by the Israeli occupation.” It fails to add that Palestinian students have more and better access to education than Arab students in nearly every other part of the Middle East. It fails to mention that students are routinely arrested for expressing dissenting views in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and other Muslim nations. It fails to mention that Israel has affirmative action programs for its Palestinian students. It fails to mention that when Israel ended the occupation of Gaza in an effort to trade land for peace, all it got in return was more than 6,000 rockets fired from Gaza at its children. It fails to present any balance concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict.

When protests over Hampshire action began, the administration issued a statement of clarification, which did not mention Israel but claimed, obliquely, that “the decision expressly did not pertain to a political movement or single out businesses active in a specific region or country.” [To read the entire statement, go to: http://www.hampshire.edu/news/11271.htm]

But Hampshire President Hexter acknowledged that “it was the good work of SJP”—the virulently anti-Israel group called Student For Justice in Palestine—“that brought this issue to the attention of the committee.”

They can’t have it both ways. They undertook no action based on alleged violations by any country other than Israel, which allowed the anti-Israel group to claim victory, as they have been doing even after the “clarification.” Virtually every media report was headlined “Hampshire First College in United States to Divest From Israel.”

Before writing this article, I spoke to the President and the Chairman of the Board. They denied that this divestment action was directed against Israel. I asked them to issue a statement which made that clear: namely, “Hampshire rejected an attempt by Students for Justice in Palestine to divest from companies supporting the occupation of Palestine, and instead applied existing principles, requiring them to divest from companies which failed to meet certain standards.” They refused to issue any such statement, obviously because they didn’t want to alienate the anti-Israel students. Like most universities, they do want to have it both ways. They want to appear to be saying one thing to the anti-Israel students and another thing to those who would be appalled at singling out Israel for divestment. But on an issue of this kind, they simply can’t have it both ways: either they rejected efforts to single out Israel for divestiture, in which case they should say so, or they accepted these efforts, and covered it up with a cosmetically-broader divestiture, which appears to be the case.

It may well be that the anti-Israel student group has hijacked the voice of the college, but if so the hijacking has not been strongly resisted. The voice of the student group has become the voice of the college because it has been clearer and less ambiguous.

My son, who went to Hampshire College, has urged me to take this action. We have supported the college through tuition payments and occasional gifts. No more! I now call on all decent people—supporters and critics of Israel alike—to make no further contributions to a school that now promotes discrimination and is complicit in evil. There must be a price paid for bigotry, and the actions of Hampshire College in singling out only Israel for divestiture is bigotry plain and simple. Silence is not an option. Inaction is not an option. Fighting back against the likes of Cynthia McKinney is mandatory for all people of good will.

The goal is not to harm the students or faculty of Hampshire College, but the petition claims that sentiment in favor of this bigoted resolution is overwhelming among students and faculty. Students and faculty too must understand that bigotry has its cost.

Hampshire College will survive its self-inflicted wound, but decency cannot survive with the kind of double standard bigotry directed only against the Jewish state.

Hampshire is a small college without much influence. But those who are conducting the national campaign see their victory at Hampshire as an opening wedge with which to get other more influential universities to follow suit by adopting similarly bigoted proposals. This is a cancer that is threatening to spread around the world, and it must be stopped where it began—at Hampshire.

Until and unless the Hampshire administration clarifies its ambiguous “clarification” to make it unequivocally clear that it rejects any and all efforts to single out Israel for divestment, contributions to that otherwise fine school should be placed on hold.


TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alandershowitz; antisemitism; dershowitz; israel

1 posted on 02/17/2009 5:29:19 AM PST by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you'd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

----------------------------

2 posted on 02/17/2009 5:34:55 AM PST by SJackson (a tax cut is non-targeted…no guarantee…they’re free to invest anywhere that they want, J Kerry)
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To: SJackson

Note that the promoters of this measure are complete terrorist kool-aid drinkers; advocating the complete destruction of Israel; and not just critics of Israeli policy.


3 posted on 02/17/2009 5:40:08 AM PST by atomic conspiracy (Victory in Iraq: Worst defeat for activist media since Goebbels shot himself.)
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To: SJackson

These administrators are the witch-doctors and high priests of a new kind of cargo cult. They believe that if they shake their feathers and rattle their gourds at Israel enough, the Arabs will shower them with recycled petrodollars. Unlike the original cargo cultists though, they are probably right.


4 posted on 02/17/2009 5:42:30 AM PST by atomic conspiracy (Victory in Iraq: Worst defeat for activist media since Goebbels shot himself.)
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To: SJackson

How is it that the places of ‘higher learning’ turn out to be the dumbest places on the planet...


5 posted on 02/17/2009 5:43:55 AM PST by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: SJackson

I went to UMASS, next door in the late 70s and 80s. Took a few classes at Hampshire—totally Marxist haven for has-been professors. It’s too late fighting them. Why anyone in his right mind would send a child there is absolutely beyond me.


6 posted on 02/17/2009 5:45:25 AM PST by jackofhearts (Unko bachana kaun chahega (Who will want to save them)??)
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To: SJackson

> Hampshire has become the first college in the United
> States to divest from Israel. It urged other universities
> to follow its lead.

See how much better is the lot of South Africans since the destruction of the “apartheid” South African government.

I submit that we can expect the same once Israel is gone.

The Mideast in its entirety will sink to the degradation and squalor of the Paleo-stinkians.

They will take the emerald oasis of Israel and return it to the dry, desolate desert wilderness the Israelis found when they returned in 1948.


7 posted on 02/17/2009 5:47:42 AM PST by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: Westbrook
I'm so proud of what America has done to transform the Union of South Africa to what it is today by boycotting what was the greatest nation in Africa.

Typical statistic: every 60 seconds a girl under 12 is raped.

Many of the energetic farmers have been slaughtered and police are unable to aprehend the killers.

Soon all the farmland will lie untilled as the 'majority' will lie around drinking sorghum beer and won't have time to do any manual labor.

8 posted on 02/17/2009 5:52:33 AM PST by IbJensen (In 2008, Americans foolishly used their freedom to vote for “chains” not “change.”)
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To: Westbrook
Earlier than that, but I get the point. The economic development of the British Mandate by the Jewish population is the reason many of the Arabs came there. The founding of Tel Aviv in 1909 and today. I suppose it could be desert again.


9 posted on 02/17/2009 5:59:59 AM PST by SJackson (a tax cut is non-targeted…no guarantee…they’re free to invest anywhere that they want, J Kerry)
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To: SJackson; dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
There is an element of disinformation from the MSM going on here.

Yes, overall, it is accurate to say that Hampshire College's campus culture is somewhat to the left of Trotsky. Che Guevara tee shirts count as formal wear. And yes, as everyone knows, the Left is anti-Israel. This is quite amazing really, given ithe Left's otherwise quite numerous "Jewish" component.

However, a "fair and balanced" report from this interestingly misguided haunt of early '60's hippieness would reveal the existence of several vociferous PRO-Israel student groups on the campus. Of course, the College's administration felt it must show that its Leftist credentials are completely in order by "Divesting" from Israel. Given the size of the Hampshire endowment, this move is hardly a threat to Israel, despite its propaganda value.

At my very early 60's men's college, (ethanol-fueled, not chemically powered) this difference in POVs would have been settled in the woods, and the administration would exert its considerable influence to keep it OUT of the press. Then everyone would put on their coats, adjust their ties, and head back to class for the real work of picking up a useful education, but not before carrying the "Palestinian" supporters to the campus clinic.

Hampshire was founded to give a home and platform to faculty who were too far left, and too socially inept to continue in tenured employment at Smith, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, and God help us, UMass. That this took place in '60s Western Massachusetts, these Hampshire founding characters had to really be quite far out!
Some incredibly intelligent, hard-working students on this campus, although one might be forgiven for not immediately recognizing that by looking at them.

10 posted on 02/17/2009 6:24:28 AM PST by Kenny Bunk (The Election of 2008: Given the choice between stupid and evil, the stupid chose evil.)
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To: Westbrook
And don't forget to take a look at our efforts to bring change to Rhodesia by helping put Mugabe in power in Zimbabwe.
11 posted on 02/17/2009 6:32:08 AM PST by Maine Mariner
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To: Maine Mariner

> And don’t forget to take a look at our efforts to bring
> change to Rhodesia by helping put Mugabe in power in
> Zimbabwe.

Yes, the pet tyrants of the Left always turn out so wonderfully. They are so much better than the tyrants they replaced. After all, the previous tyrants were bad white folks. They didn’t do much killing, but they were still very, very bad.

Now, we know Leftist tyrants are always good. No matter how many millions they kill, no matter how badly they trash their economies, no matter how complete the destruction of their agriculture and industry.

They’re Leftists and they just need a little more time to experiment to get it right.


12 posted on 02/17/2009 6:40:36 AM PST by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: IbJensen

> I’m so proud of what America has done to transform the
> Union of South Africa to what it is today by boycotting
> what was the greatest nation in Africa.

Yup. S.A. is such a disaster, you didn’t even need the /sarc disclaimer.

The communist Mandellas and their fellow travellers have done such a remarkable job of turning a net exporting nation with a superabundance of food into a UN dependency basket case.

But that’s what Communists always do.

Now they are doing it here, in the United States.

God have mercy on us.

I believe it’s payback for all the innocent blood shed in the Abortion factories and the universal societal enforcement of homosexual supremacy.

This nation has turned from a nation that celebrates life, accomplishment, success, and character into one that celebrates death, dependency, failure, and malfeasance.


13 posted on 02/17/2009 11:04:38 AM PST by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: SJackson

I thought all those liberal colleges divested themselves of any sort of investments having to do with Israel back in the 80’s. Had they quietly decided to re-invest at some point?


14 posted on 02/17/2009 1:40:01 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: SJackson
Hampshire College divested from reality years ago.

This is the east coast version of Evergreen State College in Washington.

15 posted on 02/17/2009 2:27:28 PM PST by happygrl (BORG: Barack 0bama Resistance Group: we will not be assimilated)
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To: Westbrook
I believe it’s payback for all the innocent blood shed in the Abortion factories and the universal societal enforcement of homosexual supremacy.

That's a big part of what's happening to us and our country.

Waking up every day now and knowing that it's not a nightmare that someone named Oboma is our president is scary!

16 posted on 02/18/2009 4:56:50 AM PST by IbJensen (In 2008, Americans foolishly used their freedom to vote for “chains” not “change.”)
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